Todd Pletcher

Friday Insights: 'Rising Star' Conquest Warrior Returns To Action At Gulfstream

7th-GP, $75K, A/OC, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 4:08 p.m. Courtlandt Farms' CONQUEST WARRIOR (City of Light) impressed in his Gulfstream debut Jan. 13 and earned 'TDN Rising Star' status for trainer Shug McGaughey. The $1,000,000 Keeneland September yearling bumps up into allowance company over the local main track Friday and adds an extra 1/8-mile to boot as he preps for a potential run at an upcoming GI Kentucky Derby prep. Conquest Warrior enters off a bullet five-furlong drill Feb. 24 (1:00 3/5 {1/7}). While main rival Speak Easy (Constitution) will scratch...

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First Mare In foal To Claiborne's GISW Annapolis

Claiborne Farm Feb. 29 reported the first mare has checked in foal to Annapolis (War Front), the operation said in a release Thursday. The 5-year-old was bred to St Claude (Tiznow), who is owned by Pete and Martha Williams and is boarded at Nicky Drion Thoroughbreds. She is from the family of Horse of the Year Flightline and tallied her first registered colt Jan. 12 by Army Mule. A graded stakes winner at 2 and 3 as a homebred for Bass Racing under trainer Todd Pletcher, Annapolis set a new...

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Speak Easy Confirmed for Fountain of Youth

Siena Farm and WinStar Farm's Speak Easy (Constitution), who had been cross-entered in an optional-claimer Friday, will take his place in the line-up for Saturday's GII Coolmore Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream Park. The sophomore debuted with an impressive victory going seven furlongs at the Hallandale oval Jan. 27. He drew the rail and will be facing eight other 3-year-olds in the 1 1/16-miles Fountain of Youth. "We like the post and the way he's been training," trainer Todd Pletcher said Thursday. Irad Ortiz Jr., who was slated to...

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The Kentucky Oaks Top 10 for February 29

Things are starting to heat up. Saturday's Busher S. at Aqueduct and Saturday's GII Davona Dale S. at Gulfstream both have the potential to shake things up. The Davona Dale will feature the return of 2-year-old champion filly Just FYI (Justify) and what looks to be an up-and-coming star in Leslie's Rose (Into Mischief). The Busher will feature Jody's Pride (American Pharoah), who was the runner-up behind Just FYI in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Here's a look at the fourth installment of our Kentucky Oaks Top 10. 1)...

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First Mares in Foal to Arcangelo and Up to the Mark

Arcangelo (Arrogate--Modeling, by Tapit) and Up to the Mark (Not This Time--Belle's Finale, by Ghostzapper), both Eclipse champions of 2023 now standing their first season at stud at Lane's End, have had their first mares scanned in foal. Diamondcoat (Gemologist) has been pronounced in foal to 2023 champion 3-year-old Arcangelo. The 9-year-old mare, owned by Allied Racing Stable, is a half-sister to multiple Grade I-placed Absinthe Minded (Quiet American), the dam of GI Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath (Arrogate). Campaigned by Jon Ebbert's Blue Rose Farm and trained by Jena...

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TDN Sophomore Top 12: 'Rising Stars' Anchor Top Three Spots

You may have noticed a change in the title of this column, from "Derby Top 12" to "Sophomore Top 12." Churchill Downs, Inc., has barred trainer Bob Baffert from competing in the GI Kentucky Derby, and that left us in a quandary over how to assess the nation's best 3-year-old prospects. It didn't seem right to dismiss the accomplishments of elite-level sophomores, regardless of whether they were eligible for the Derby or not. Nor did it seem proper to ignore the benchmarks their performances provide to help establish the overall...

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Vino Rosso's Tuscan Sky Stays Perfect, Defeats 'Rising Star' Nash

3rd-Fair Grounds, $59,150, Alw (NW1X)/Opt. Clm ($100,000), 2-17, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:43.74, sy, 2 lengths. TUSCAN SKY (c, 3, Vino Rosso--South Andros {SW, $207,125}, by Sky Mesa) facing a field scratched down to just two other runners, backed up a big figure in his Aqueduct debut, also over a muddy surface, Jan. 13 with a defeat here of 'TDN Rising Star' and GIII Lecomte S. runner up Nash (Medaglia d'Oro). Letting that runner go up to set an uncontested lead in what wound up a two-horse race, Tuscan Sky stalked...

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Pletcher Unveils Plans For 3-Year-Old Stars

The road to the GI Kentucky Derby has been unkind to Todd Pletcher so far this year, but that may be about to change. The Hall of Fame trainer is ready to regroup and will look to win the March 30 GI Florida Derby with Fierceness (City of Light) and the March 2 GII Fountain of Youth with Locked (Gun Runner). Locked, who is the 10-1 favorite beyond the "all others" option in the latest round of the Derby Future Wager, was originally scheduled to make his debut in the...

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Lauren Robson Saddles First Winner Thursday at Gulfstream

Trainer Lauren Robson saddled her first career winner Thursday, bringing a rather extensive resume with her into the Gulfstream Park winner's circle. "I came over from England in 2004. I worked for various, really good trainers. I was an assistant for Jonathan Sheppard, Wesley Ward and Jerry Hollendorfer," Robson said. "I galloped for Todd Pletcher. I rode many good horses for him. There were other good trainers I worked for also, like Richard Mandella." Robson saddled Jabran to a 3 1/2-length victory under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez in...

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Thursday's Insights: Pricey Pletcher Colts Debut at Gulfstream

5th-GP, $89K, MSW, 4yo/up, 7 1/2fT, 2:09pm EST Trainer Todd Pletcher offers up a pair of seven-figure sales horses making their belated debuts. Victorious Racing LLC's SWORDOFHONOR (IRE) (Siyouni {Fr}) sports some pretty flashy credentials. The €1.5 million Arqana August yearling purchase is a half-brother to the year-older Angel Bleu (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}), a two-time Group 1 winner as a juvenile who subsequently won last summer's G2 Celebration Mile S. at Goodwood. Consigned by Ecurie des Monceaux and purchased by Oliver St Lawrence, the bay was the second highest-priced...

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Saturday Insights: Full-Brother To MGSW Three Witches Ready To Party At Fair Grounds

8th-FG, $57K, Msw, 3yo, 1 1/16mT, 4:30 p.m. ET. Bred by Machmer Hall, SHIRE'S END (Into Mischief) takes to the turf in New Orleans under the guidance of trainer Brendan Walsh. A $450,000 buy at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale, the colt is a full-brother to MGSW/GISP Three Witches, who went to RIFA Mustang Europe for $1.7 million at last year's Keeneland November Sale, then won the GII Santa Monica S. at Santa Anita a week ago. Dam Layreebelle (Tale of the Cat) is also responsible for GII...

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Agate Road Back To The Dirt For Sam F. Davis

The Tampa Road to the Kentucky Derby heats up Saturday afternoon, as a full field of 12 sophomore males is set to face the starter for the $250,000 GIII Sam F. Davis S., with 42 Kentucky Derby qualifying points (20-10-6-4-2) up for grabs. When Litigate (Blame) took out the 2023 renewal, he was giving trainer Todd Pletcher a seventh victory in the Davis, having won the race for the first time in 2006 with Bluegrass Cat (Storm Cat). 'TDN Rising Star' Agate Road (Quality Road) will be the more-fancied of...

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